This book presents a new theory of grammatical categories - the Universal Spine Hypothesis - and reinforces generative notions of Universal Grammar while accommodating insights from linguistic typology.
Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 00:04:41 +0000 From: Asya Pereltsvaig <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Cinque ed. 2002. Functional Structure of DP and IP
Cinque, Guglielmo, ed. (2002) Functional Structure in DP and IP. The Cartography of Syntactic Structures. Volume 1. Oxford University Press, Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax. (see book announcement on the LinguistList 13.3344)
Asya Pereltsvaig, California State University Long Beach
This volume presents the first results of a long-term project, funded by the Italian government, aiming to discover and map out the functional structure of natural language sentences. Since the mid-1980s much of the syntactic research has been aimed at a study of functional categories in clauses and nominals. The goal of this volume is to "set the question [of functional structure] in a systematic and empirical fashion" (p. 3). One of the major issues concerning functional categories is their universality. The stronger position, the one that this volume considers, is that languages employ a universal set of functional categories, and that their number and relative order is the same across languages. Different types of evidence may be adduced to support this position, including word order and (grammatical) morpheme order, the order of nonlexical specifiers (i.e., specifiers other than those hosing argument DPs in the layered VP), and the order of restructuring verbs.
The volume opens with an informative introduction by Guglielmo Cinque. It reviews the types of evidence for functional structure and gives a brief overview of the other contributions in the volume. The rest of the volume is divided into two parts: Part I deals with the functional structure in DPs and Part II with the functional structure in clauses. The volume also contains a subject index, a language index, and a name index. References are listed after each chapter.
Chapter 2: The Positions of Demonstratives in the Extended Nominal Projection. By Laura Brugè. This chapter is concerned with the functional architecture involved in the syntax of demonstratives. The main focus is on Spanish demonstratives, which can appear either in prenominal position or in postnominal position. It is proposed that a demonstrative is always projected in a low position inside the extended nominal projection. At PF (Phonological Form), it can be realized either in its base position (appearing postnominally) or in Specifier of DP (appearing prenominally). It is shown that demonstratives are generated in a position below functional projections that host the different classes of adjectives and immediately superior to the projection whose specifier is occupied by the postnominal possessive. Furthermore, it is shown that the demonstrative fulfills the same function regardless of its appearance in the prenominal or postnominal position: in both cases it provides a referential interpretation. Hence, it is proposed that the movement of the demonstrative into SpecDP is motivated by feature checking. In Spanish it is option before Spell-Out but Obligatory by LF (Logical Form). This suggests extending the analysis to other languages making the locus of variation in the obligatoriness, optionality or impossibility of demonstrative raising before Spell-Out. Therefore, some languages allow only prenominal demonstratives (Italian, French, German, Albanian), other languages allow demonstratives both prenominally and postnominally (Spanish, Catalan, Bosnian, Romanian, Modern Greek), while yet other languages allow demonstratives only in the postnominal position (Hebrew, Irish). Thus, the observed cross-linguistic variation with respect to word order is explained in terms of feature strength and not the differences in underlying functional architecture.
Chapter 3: The Functional Structure of Noun Phrases. A Bare Phrase Structure Approach. By Giuliana Giusti. This paper provides an overview of recent studies on the syntax of determiners in Romance, Germanic and Balkan languages and raises some important theoretical issues. It is hypothesized that among determiners, only articles are functional heads, whereas demonstratives and other maximal projections carrying referential features check those features in the Specifier of the highest functional nominal projection, SpecFPmax. It is shown that a definite article in some languages is inserted for purely syntactic reasons regardless of the referential properties of the nominal. In agreement with the previous chapter, it is claimed that demonstratives are generated low and raise into the highest Specifier position. Furthermore, it is claimed that the term "determiner" is spurious. It is used to refer to a number of very different entities which may or may not be in complementary distribution. In addition to demonstratives, other occupants of SpecFPmax, such as possessive adjectives, personal pronouns, and proper names are considered as well. Other phenomena considered include apparent adpositions and adjectives inflected for definiteness.
Chapter 4: Stacked Adjectival Modification and the Structure of Nominal Phrases. By Gary-John Scott. The chapter is concerned with the restrictions on the relative ordering of adjectives. The proposed analysis is based on Cinque's Universal Hierarchy of Clausal Functional Projections. It is argued that adjectives are not adjuncts but rather "specifiers of distinct functional projections that are intrinsically related to aspects of their semantic interpretation" (p.91). The central questions that such an analysis must address are: (i) which adjectives belong to which class, (ii) how many classes of adjectives there are, (iii) whether certain adjectives may belong to more than one class (as is the case with some adverbs), (iv) whether these classes and the ordering restrictions in which they occur are found cross-linguistically. This chapter aims at shedding new light at these questions. The methodology by which ordering restrictions are approached is similar to that of Cinque (1999): two or three adjectives are considered at a time. The following hierarchy of functional projections hosting adjectives is proposed: DETERMINER > ORDINAL NUMBER > CARDINAL NUMBER > SUBJECTIVE COMMENT > ?EVIDENTIAL > SIZE > LENGTH > HEIGHT > SPEED> ?DEPTH > WIDTH > WEIGHT > TEMPERATURE > ?WETNESS > AGE >SHAPE > COLOR > NATIONALITY/ORIGIN > MATERIAL > COMPOUND ELEMENT > NP. The analysis highlights the tight connections between syntactic and semantic components of the grammar.
Chapter 5: Clause Structure and X-Second. By Anna Cardinaletti and Ian Roberts. This chapter is concerned with a range of "second- position" phenomena in various languages; from a theoretical point of view its main focus is on an more elaborate theory of Nominative Case assignment. It is proposed on the basis of several Germanic and Romance languages that there is a projection intervening between Comp and the highest Infl-type projection, which the authors call AgrP1, referring to the traditional AgrP, the highest Infl-type projection, as AgrP2. Both AgrP1 and AgrP2 are "subject" Agrs. This proposal connects a number of "verb-second" effects with various kinds of "clitic- second" effects, known in traditional grammar as Wachernagel's Law and the Tobler-Mussafia Law. It is proposed that the higher AgrP is responsible for Nominative Case assignment, attracting clitics and attracting the inflected verb. These three properties are shown to be interrelated. Furthermore, it is proposed that in languages that have both Agr projections the lower AgrP is not responsible for Nominative Case. The languages considered are Icelandic, Old French, Yiddish, German, Old English, Old High German. The paper also considers Stylistic Fronting and embedded topicalization.
Chapter 6: Agreement and Tense as Distinct Syntactic Positions. Evidence from Acquisition. By Maria Teresa Guasti and Luigi Rizzi. As can be seen from the title, this chapter provides new evidence for clausal functional architecture from studies of language acquisition. It is argued that "tense and agreement features are licensed in distinct syntactic positions in English, with agreement higher than tense" (p. 167). The basic pattern is the following: during the third year of life, learners of English typically produce negative sentences with third-person subjects and uninflected 'do'. Although inflected and uninflected forms seem to alternate in child English, this pattern is surprising because the optionality of agreement on negative 'do' does not carry over to interrogative 'do'; the uninflected form of interrogative 'do' is virtually never attested. It is proposed that interrogative 'do' and negative 'do' occupy different positions in the structure, higher and lower than agreement, respectively.
Chapter 7: The Distribution of Functional Projections in ASL. Evidence from Overt Expressions of Syntactic Features. By Carol Neidle and Dawn Maclaughlin. The originality of this chapter is in considering American Sign Language (ASL), which like many other sign languages has overt non-manual expressions of many of the major syntactic features postulated to occur in functional heads. "These expressions take the form of particular gestures on the head and upper body that occur potentially over phrasal domains, in parallel with manual signing" (p. 195). Specifically, this chapter focuses on expressions of tense, aspect, agreement, and negation. The chapter starts with important background information about ASL and ASL research. It is proposed that in ASL agreement projection is dominated by TP. It is shown that tense, modals and negation can be expressed through the use of signing space. Agreement, likewise, can be expressed through using the signing space; it can also be expressed through non- manual signs. It is thus concluded that functional architecture of ASL is not much different from that of oral languages.
Overall, this volume makes an important contribution to the study of functional categories. One of its strengths is bringing together research on a large number of unrelated languages, including sign languages and child languages. Thus, it goes beyond discovering functional heads necessary to account for a range of phenomena in specific languages and into streamlining a universal theory of functional architecture. Another strong point is in the interconnections between different chapters. For example, chapters 2 and 3 are concerned with demonstratives, chapters 5, 6 and 7 with agreement. The conclusions made in different chapters seem to support each other. This shows that distinct sources of evidence can be brought together to support a uniform theory of functional architecture. There are, however, certain issues that the volume leaves largely open. For instance, it is not clear whether the universal functional architecture is an independent fact of grammar or whether it can be derived from semantic considerations. Although various papers in the volume adopt the stronger position with respect to universality of functional architecture, the question of whether all the functional projections are present in all structures is not considered directly. It is left open whether all clauses are CPs and all nominals are DPs (or FPmax in Giusti's terminology). Despite its wide linguistic coverage, the main focus of this volume is on Germanic and Romance languages. It would be nice to see more work on other languages, such as the notoriously article-less Slavic languages.
References: Cinque, Guglielmo (1999) Adverbs and Functional Heads: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Asya Pereltsvaig teaches linguistics at California State University Long Beach and Indiana University. In her doctoral dissertation she considered issues concerning the functional architecture of nominals and copular sentences. Her current work focuses on nominal functional structure in Russian, as well as in other Slavic, Romance, and Germanic languages.